Through these changes, Johnson remained steadfast in his approach, hammering away at a sound that pays homage to his roots and influences while, at the same time, retaining a distinct individualism. Now, with two albums released on two separate labels behind them, Grooms sound rejuvenated on their third proper full-length, Infinity Caller, their most intricately focused yet accessible album to date.
There are touchstones aplenty here: “Iskra Goodbye” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Yo La Tengo or Stereolab record, while the blissed-out mid-tempo jangle “Sleep Detective” apes Galaxy 500 before bursting into Spacemen 3-like guitar-fuzz oblivion.
Yet it’s on “I Think We’re Alone Now” that the band impresses most. Contemporarily speaking, the song is cut from the same ’90s indie cloth that adorns bands like Cymbals Eat Guitars and Norman’s own Evangelicals, with a rousing chorus that nearly overwhelms with its melodiously saccharine vocal hook from both Johnson and bassist Emily Ambruso (also a former Normanite).
No matter how dense the fuzz and fog that loom atop Infinity Caller’s surface, its deep-seated paranoia is routinely trumped by melody — which is tantamount to the band’s most fully realized release to date. —Zach Hale